MSP panel looking for ideas

Commissioners say several facos could limit development

Developers wanted.

The Missouri State Penitentiary Redevelopment Commission on Wednesday approved a draft Request for Proposals seeking developers and their ideas for designated parcels and buildings on the prison redevelopment site.

However, commissioners raised concerns about being limited by state-designated areas, a 12-year-old master plan with design guidelines, and immovable historic features.

One of the primary targets for this initial request for development proposals is the rehabilitation of the shoe factory, to the east of the new Lafayette Street extended cul-de-sac. Commissioner Gene Buschmann noted the actual elevation of the street to the building is more dramatic than it appears on the two-dimensional maps.

“We greatly deceived ourselves by looking at it on paper,” Buschmann said.

He proposed that the location of the eventual MSP Parkway, which would weave through the site from the cul-de-sac to Chestnut Street, should be re-evaluated from the original master plan. And Buschmann suggested the Chestnut Street improvement and extension might present better access to development incentives at this time.

“We’ve gotta start thinking in 3-D; it’s not feasible that this area is accessible,” Buschmann said. “I just think we need to re-evaluate our thinking in that area.”

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